EU Awards for Best Investigative Journalism in Türkiye Announced

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On October 16, the winners of the EU Awards for Investigative Journalism in Türkiye were announced.

Photo: Thomson Media

Murat Ağırel, Doğu Eroğlu and Çiğdem Toker were selected from many colleagues as this year’s winners for their stories published in 2022 exposing crime and institutional failures to protect citizens’ rights.

The jury consisted of İsmail Bezgin, a reporter and news-broadcasting manager; Mehmet Vecdi Seviğ, a former expert in the Ministry of Finance’s Inspection Board who later transitioned into journalism, with working experience in Yankı magazine, ANKA news agency, Dünya newspaper, Cumhuriyet newspaper and Başkent TV; and Göksel Bozkurt, a reporter, news director and columnist, President of the Parliament Journalists Association and Executive Editor of ANKA news agency.

The first prize went to Murat Ağırel (Yeniçağ Gazetesi) for his story “Türkiye in the Grip of Drugs,” which unveiled the hidden web of crime that stretches from Türkiye to Europe, all while being concealed by influential figures within the country.

Second prize went to Doğu Eroğlu for “BTK-gate with Documents,” a thought-provoking tale that shed light on how constitutionally guaranteed freedom of communication is under siege by the Information Technologies Authority, BTK.

Third prize went to Çiğdem Toker (Sözcü Gazetesi), who uncovered the shocking damage done to the National Garden by dismantling the runway of Ataturk Airport.

Marija Vasilevka, Project Manager from BIRN, greeted all guests and highlighted the importance of BIRN’s partnership with the Association of Journalists from Türkiye.

“Investigative journalism is not an easy job to do, especially in the current situation in the world. But it is an important tool to hold institutions accountable and contribute to the development of democracy. Our project seeks to create a sustainable system for supporting journalists to produce quality and independent news,” Vasilevska said.

She handed the award to the third prize winner. The Vice-president of the Association of Journalists and a representative from the EU Delegation to Türkiye handed the second and first prizes respectively.

The EU Award for Investigative Journalism 2023 is part of the project “Strengthening Quality Journalism in Western Balkans and Türkiye II”, funded by EU. This aims to recognise and promote outstanding achievements in investigative journalism as well as improve the visibility of quality journalism in the Western Balkans and Türkiye.